Your deck provides your family with limitless opportunities for relaxation and entertainment. Unfortunately, over time, the vibrant appearance of your wood deck can dull due to foot traffic and the beating it takes from mother nature. However, a consistent maintenance routine can protect your deck’s appearance and save it from expensive repairs. Below, we’ve provided 3 maintenance tips that will help guard your deck against the abuse it faces from heavy foot traffic and intense weather conditions.

How to Maintain Your Deck in 3 Easy Steps

A Simple Inspection

Start your inspection by removing chairs, tables, and planters from your deck. Once the area is completely clear, slowly walk around looking for any split, warped or rotting boards. You should also keep an eye out for loose nails and unsecured railings. If you do discover damaged wood, calling a professional to replace the impaired boards is key to keeping your deck in excellent condition. A thorough inspection at least once a year will alert you to any issues before they escalate and cause your repair bill to skyrocket.

Give Your Deck a Deep Cleaning

While sweeping your deck to remove loose dirt and standing water is always a smart maintenance move, a deep cleaning once a year is also needed. On a pleasant and fairly dry day use a commercial deck cleaner to adequately rid your deck of mold and bacteria. For the best results, be sure to follow the directions that accompany the cleaner. Areas covered in stubborn dirt stains will need to be scrubbed with a brush and little extra elbow-grease. While rinsing your deck with a power washer is the fastest way to get rid of residue, the forceful stream can end-up damaging your deck if you are not careful. Using a garden hose and a nozzle attachment instead will ensure you don’t accidentally harm the wood.

How Often Should You Stain Your Deck?

There are several factors that determine how often your deck requires staining. For one, the type of stain you choose makes a huge difference. A transparent stain provides less protection, meaning you will need to stain your deck every year. If you are looking for a stronger barrier, you can select a semi-transparent stain. This type of stain gives your deck color and guards it from harsh weather while still allowing some of the wood’s natural grain to show through. A semi-transparent stain needs reapplying every 2 to 3 years. A solid stain will provide your deck with the greatest protection, however, it does take away from the wood’s natural appearance. A deck using solid stain needs reapplying on average every five years.

Weather and the amount of foot traffic your deck sees can also impact how often you need to reapply stain. Constant exposure to the sun and extreme humidity can cause your deck’s stain to deteriorate at a faster rate. Heavy foot traffic is another factor you need to take into consideration. The more use your deck gets the quicker the stain wears down.

Adding a wood deck to your home expands your living space and provides you with an area to relax and entertain family and friends. Unfortunately, inadequate maintenance can turn your deck into a burden rather than a prized possession. If you would like to learn more about preserving your deck’s appearance and its structural soundness, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to answer your questions